SVP, Head of Marketing Asia Pacific Middle East Africa
Sam Ahmed boasts a long list of accolades and passions—from being named one of the Asia Pacific top “40 under 40” marketing professionals to serving on the executive leadership teams of three USD Billion+ businesses to a confessing an unrelenting drive to accelerate revenue growth through digital, CRM, marketing, communication, product and commercial innovation.
However, it is Sam’s use of technology to link brands to the deeper needs of societies that has caused him to cultivate stronger levels of brand loyalty. He is the champion behind the data and analytics-driven platform known as the MasterCard Digital & E-Commerce Engine. The Engine is a combination of people, processes and carefully-selected technology tools that are integrated to analyze data, trends and insights on a daily basis in order to optimize content, offers, and experiences, so MasterCard can more relevantly target people across social and digital channels to drive transactions that matter to cardholders.
Perhaps the best-known example of using the Engine to power a campaign in APAC is the New Year’s Eve initiative in December 2014, featuring Hugh Jackman. The involvement of the Australian star created an emotional spark with consumers and allowed MasterCard to mine valuable insights by encouraging cardholders to share who they would want to spend their New Year’s Eve with and why.
Based in Singapore, Sam Ahmed is responsible for the management of the region’s marketing teams. He also oversees the development of strategies and campaigns for MasterCard’s advertising, sponsorships, promotions, as well as digital and consumer marketing initiatives across APMEA.
Prior to joining MasterCard in November 2013, he served as vice president, marketing and category at Starbucks Coffee Asia Pacific. He was a key member of the Starbucks Asia Pacific leadership team, which oversaw more than 1,600 stores across 14 markets.
Prior to Starbucks, he was part of Kraft Foods’ global beverage team as director of the beverages division, Asia Pacific, where he managed the regional beverage executive team and led the growth in both market share and regional sales of various Asia Pacific beverage brands. He was also at Fonterra Brands where he served for five years as global brand director for the company’s nutritional brands.